I don't make my bed either. Instead DH gets home from work in the morning and makes it. and later on in the day after he's done sleeping he makes it again. Working different shifts, we are not generally sleeping at the same time but he cannot stand walking past and seeing a messy bed.
I like stuff, DH is not good with change and hates clutter. So I am not supposed to buy stuff and bring stuff home unless I already have a spot for it.
He is really picky about how stuff looks and decorating. OMG we have been talking about the nursery forever and have finally agreed to not spend a fortune on baby furniture and make a trip to Ikea for a crib and dresser. Yesterday we picked up some paint samples and painted them on the wall in the room. Still cannot agree on which colors to use. i was hoping that putting them on the wall with the lighting that room gets would make the choice obvious but it's not yet. I have a wallpaper border for the room and we are thinking of that halfway up the wall and maybe darker on the bottom or lighter on the top. Or I could do one shade the whole room.
OMG, it's so funny that some of you have the "wear again" piles. I thought I was the only one that does that. DH onces said to me that living with me is like living with his 7 year old self. LOL. I am quite messy and just do not see mess like most people do I guess. I have organized clutter of little piles of things. DH comes along and cleans and organizes things and then I'm never able to find what I need when he does that!
Okay, my place is a mess. It's cluttered and not as clean as it should be. Usually DH makes the bed if we're both up, but if he has to leave and I'm still in bed, sometimes it won't get made until 10 minutes before we get in bed again. LOL
I started doing some laundry every day, it's much easier than doing like 5 loads on the weekends! And I try to get the dishes done before DH gets home. When DH cleans I can never find anything either. He throws away stuff I need or puts it in places where I can find it. I can't complain because then he'll just say "clean it up yourself then!"
How do you all make your beds? We have sheets and a duvet, and a woven throw over that (to keep the cat hair off the duvet). Every day when we get up we put the duvet up over the bed and straighten the throw, so I guess our bed is made, but it doesn't look very nice or fancy. We don't have any throw pillows and I don't tuck in sheets or anything. Do you consider a bed "made" when the sheets are tucked in and it's smoothed just right? Or is just covered by the duvet enough? I suppose I'd have to say we "half-make" our bed every day.
We have a duvet and I consider the bed made just when it's smoothed out a bit and tucked in with the pillows fluffed a bit. DH always makes our bed. I never bother!
We took advantage of the snow we got this weekend and let the boys make snowmen and watched them frolick around in it. SIL came over with her 3 kids and they all played together a bit, but things disintegrated as they always do between the kids. Our 5 kids love each other to pieces and can be the best of buddies most of the time, but man can they bicker amongst themselves! The older 3 boys (Z and R who are 5 and 4) and then my Travis who's nearly 5 are so competitive. They try to out-do each other with the things they build with Lego, so we break up arguments over, "Mine is much better than yours...your rocket ship is rubbish." Today, we took them all to a play place and we had plans to go for dinner afterwards (just the 4 of us), so when SIL's kids got their dinner at the play place, I had to explain to Travis that we were going in a bit to eat. When it came time for us to leave, he was all up in the other boys' faces saying stuff like, "I'm going now and I'm going to have cake and you can't have any" and other snippy things, trying to make himself feel better about having to go before they did. They all do that to each other, though; like at Christmas when they got Ipods and Travis got a LeapPad and they were like, "our toys are better than yours." I hate that they do that to each other. It's not like we can take a break from each other either since we pretty much do everything as a family unit.
Oh Ash, that is so hard! I remember being like that with my cousins (there were 6 of us that were particularly close). We had some heartbreaking fights...some I was bawling, some I made my cousins bawl. But somehow we managed to grow up and be very, very close as adults. I'm not sure what the answer is for that sort of thing. Just consistency, I guess. Based solely on my own experience, I'll just say when you stop seeing that and they're all in together as a team on anything....be wary. For me, that's when we started being naughty. Like the teen years when we'd sneak out and go down to the park where they hosted the yearly bluegrass festival and we'd help ourselves to the beer left in the coolers under the campers. That was an annual event for us for a good 4-5 years! :P
My living room has dinosaurs all over the floor right now. But it's Sunday, so aside from Bobbie's room it's spotless. Oh, I didn't get to my laundry either but that hamper is only 1/2 full so I can stretch it till next weekend.
I usually pull up the sheet and the quilt over the pillows. It doesn't really matter as long as it looks neat.
L, I hope my comment did not make ou think I was saying people with clean houses must not take care of their kids. that is a ludricous assumption. And let's face it, my house could also be cleaner if I didn't sit down on apa, or read my book but hell, sometimes I just don't feel like cleaning!
Myles, the best part of giving them an allowance is that they can save for what they want and it is what i answer to every request for something they want. They decide what is important enough to spend money on. It is empowering for them and takes the burden off me, of deciding and deciphering how important it really is to them.
No no no, Bridget. I think that all of us think the best of each other but it can be easy to toss off stereotypes of people we don't know. Like a clean house must mean that the mom doesn't let her kids get messy or play or relax, or that a messy house must mean that the mom is sloppy and doesn't care but is nice. Or that tidy people are boring, I think was mentioned earlier, but I found out when I was younger that it was a lot easier to get away with much more if one presented a very clean-cut appearance to the world and got good grades and dressed appropriately and had good manners and did the wild things behind closed doors.
I think my anti-clutter tendencies are because my parents are essentially hoarders and their house is filled with junk and mice and old papers and bookshelves nailed one in front of another and my sister and I have already started arguing over who is going to have to deal with it when they die. There is the pile of old cowboy boots in the library. The dead owl in the freezer. The warped records in the basement. The garlands still draped over the eaves from my first wedding back in 1990. My sister's house is much more bare than mine is, also probably in stark contrast to our parents' house. It's funny, though, because up until about high school the entire family's belongings could fit into one car. I don't know how it exploded so much.
My children have some money, but not an allowance. I'm not sure how they keep getting small amounts of money. I occasionally give them a dollar here or there, but it's very rare. R. offered a dime to the first person who could find his shoes today. He is very loose with his money. I told him they were under the table, and he ran to get me a dime out of his treasure chest and decided to give me two dimes just because he loved me. I snuck them back into his treasure chest after he went to sleep.
Oh, and my bed is pretty easy to make, too, but DH gets the duvet all messed around so it takes longer than you would think to get it straightened out.
We have a wear again pile, too! Well, Maiya and I have a neatly folded drawer. Hubby, I won't go in to detail... In fact, we have clothes in it now. After going to the beach today, Maiya took a bath too early for PJs, but not so early that the clean clothes she wore needed to be washed. So we have an entire outfit in it now!
As for making the bed... We have a comforter, and on my side of the bed are about 5 throw blankets. To make it, I just straighten out the blankets on my side. Hubby does nothing with his. I used to, but got tired of wasting my time, so now I only straighten his side if it's messing up mine...
Ash, that's tough about the boys.
Oh, Bridget brings up an interesting topic... What other kinds of things do your kids get an allowance for, if they do? Maiya has one chore (she's not even 3 yet...), and that's to feed the cat every night. But, I don't want to pay her for it. When she starts getting other chores, which she will in a few years, I'm torn as to what to pay her for, and what to just tell her is her responsibility because she's a member of this family. Decisions, decisions...
She does, however, have quite a bit of money. I have her do a few things around the house for a quarter here or there, as do my parents at their house. And people give her a TON of money (well, a relative ton, anyway, she probably has $15 right now), it shocks me. For not even being 3 yet, she has pretty sound financial sense. She has two piggy banks- a piggy bank and a person bank- and as soon as she gets money, she tells me "I'm going to put this in my piggy bank and save it for later."
And she does great at saving it for later, too! She's only spent it on a few things- a toy, and rides at the zoo. It's awesome, because if we're shopping and she sees something she wants I just ask "Do you have your money? Is this what you want to spend it on?" And even if she does have her money with her, she usually responds with "No, it's just a commercial..." I've brainwashed my child in to rejecting anything that's marketed, haha. I know this is just a phase and will vanish completey when she's a bit older, but at least it's a good foundation!
Speaking of making beds, kinda tangential but one of the little 'luxuries' I have coveted for years is satin sheets. For various reasons, I never bought myself any...but I finally got some! Well, santeen/cotton blend, but it feels the same and that's what I was after in the end. And sure, all my blankets and pillows might slip all over and end up on the floor, but nothing beats that luxurious feel of slipping into them at the end of a hard day. Heaven on earth for me, I tell ya. :winks:
I hate having the sheet tucked in so everything is just pulled back and straightened. Actually we have a queen bed but my top sheet and blankets (it varies with the seasons) are king sized. I like being able to tuck covers around me and queen blankets aren't enough if DH is in there and we have a dog or two between us pulling even more at the covers.
No wear again pile but generally my stuff is worn way more than once. I mean I mostly sit at a desk at work in a climate controlled building. i get home and the work clothes come off and comfortable jammies or t-****s/yoga pants comes on. Work clothes are hung back in the closet. God I would hate to think of the laundry I would do if everytime I wore a sweater to work I had to wash it. I basically wear nothing but sweaters since November and they all need to dry flat....no way would i have the space to do that every week. If it's not dirty, why wash it? Clothes last so much longer that way.
Ashley, that is a tough situation with the kids, but I think Chrissy is right -- the squabbling means they're like siblings, and they'll likely grow up to be very close friends. The one-upsmanship is tough even in sibling relationships, though. I really hate that "mine is better than yours" stuff -- one of the things I learned when my daughter started getting old enough to really express herself was how many things she would say and do that just made me cringe. And yet I know she's mostly gotta figure that stuff out for herself -- what's kind to say, what makes her look bad. Sometimes I would give her a gentle talking-to about how other people look at a bragger, for example, but often she'd just shrug her shoulders. She needed to learn for herself the best way to get along and be a person other people wanted to be around. It was very hard to watch at times, but it's comforting to know all kids are going through it -- and giving your kids a chance to figure that out with cousins is really such a benefit to them all.
As for the cleanliness -- no one in their right mind (or who knows you even tangentially) would call you boring, L. I do think sometimes that's something people say to cheer themselves up a bit when they're feeling like they're not where they'd like to be in their life: Boring people have clean houses. Skinny women are b!tches. I'm sure I've been guilty of it at some point in my life, but honestly I really admire people who have it together enough to manage their households well. It's something that I often feel I'm failing at, but I know that's my own problem (both being that way, and just feeling like it) and I try to keep it there. I feel bad when I get compared with someone else and found lacking (like dh did last week), but really even that is my own hang-up. If I felt better about myself, it wouldn't have bothered me.
I don't have a "wear again" pile. If I wore something and it doesn't need to be washed, I just hang or fold it and put it away. Same with Noe's stuff.
Chrissy, I love sateen sheets! So soft. I'm glad you treated yourself. I remember after my divorce, when I had a big bed all to myself, one of the first things I did was to get a fluffy down mattress pad, super soft sheets, a down comforter, duvet and pillows. I made that bed into a dang nest, and nothing felt so good as climbing into it every night and having it just the way I wanted it. Heavenly.
Oh, about the allowance. DD1 did get one from about the age of 5 to 12 that was linked to her household responsibilities. It was not always a successful motivator, because she's never been big on money and often she'd rather give up the cash than do what was supposed to be done (things like tidy her room). Nowadays, she makes her own money drawing commissions, and she seems more proud and motivated about that than she ever did about getting an allowance from us. Like Bridget, though, I did really find that the old "Do you want that bad enough to spend your own money on it?" was a fantastic answer to all the "I wants" of childhood. You want Moon Sand? Sure, if you buy it yourself. Plenty of things she claimed she'd die if she didn't get suddenly became a lot less vital when she had to shell out her own pennies. Actually, that's working even better in teenagerhood. "Mom, I NEED these high-top platform sneakers with neon zippers and pink bows." "Interesting choice! Sure. Use your paypal." "But mom, you know I'm saving for my tablet!" (genuine concerned look) "Mmmm. That's a tough one. Guess you'll have to decide what you want more." "But MOM!" (pat on the shoulder) "I know, it's a hard decision. Good luck."
A friend of mine slept at someone's house, that had satin sheets. She said she didn't sleep a wink, on account of everything slipping and sliding and falling off the bed, all night long. She finally picked up the pillow and comforter, and slept on the floor.
My poor, broke child! She has no money of her own. She helps around the house, mostly because she wants to or because I ask her to (or make her), but there is no reward for it. After all, I don't get paid for cooking and cleaning and all that; I figured I'll start paying her for stuff that is above and beyond the call of duty, when she is old enough to be able to do it.
Ha, Pepperlu! Exactly. Kai is saving for some angry birds board game (or something?) that one of our playgroup friends has. So everytime he asks for something else, I tell him to grab his money, he tells me no because he's saving for that and then I'm like, "Mmmmm, you are going to have to think about that then too, huh?"
It is a tough call, for me, since I am really not into rewarding kids for things that are just part of life. Like, keeping our house clean should be something we all do together since we are a family and we care about our house. I feel lucky to get to do this under the net of our "family business" so to speak. It's like we are running it together. When they clean the kitchen, clean the playroom, living room...they're helping me run the daycare. So we all earn the money together.
And yes, my bed is made when all the blankets are pulled up and lying flat. Nothing gets tucked. The bed gets made when I wash the bedding.
Never talked about it but I think I like an allowance. It's not like they can get real jobs and while the house is something that is for the whole family and their home...in another way it's not. I'm just thinking that DH and I both had to be forced to clean and do chores and weren't especially neat. But now that it's OUR home with OUR money....different story. His mom cannot believe how neat he is and was like, why wasn't he like this when he lived with me. LOL I thought my mom was so mean and annoying for wanting dishes done every night.....um yeah I get now why she didn't like to wake up to dirty dishes. LOL
So I think really that people can change their desire for a clean home when it's truly their own.....but learning to spend money wisely is just invaluable. I think that I like the idea of helping with chores = money and a great lesson. Whining and not doing chores = no money and another great lesson.
I didn't get an allowance and I was not paid for good grades. I was able to start babysitting at 12/almost 13 and made pretty good money doing that full-time summers and weekends during the school year.
I think DH will along with an allowance but I could see him working in lessons on budgeting and especially saving (I could see him requiring a certain percentage going into saving) and getting all into going and opening a bank account.
As far as household help vs. allowance, we kind of did a hybrid. We set up specific responsibilities that were tied to her allowance. The allowance was $5/week and the responsibilities included tidying her room, sorting her laundry and putting away folded laundry, and I think a couple of other things that were really about her space/life. But she was also expected to help out with the house whenever I asked, and that was not tied to the allowance. Those things included stuff like picking up her things from around the house and putting them back in her room, cleaning the bathroom that she uses, helping me set/clear the table, do dishes or unload the dishwasher. Those were considered part of being a member of the household and she was expected to do them when I asked. That part hasn't changed now that she doesn't get an allowance.
Suja, Noe doesn't get an allowance yet either -- she has no need for money at 3 or really any good understanding of it. She does have a piggy bank and she loves putting coins into it whenever we give them to her. As I recall, it was around age 5 or 6 that we started doing a little allowance for I -- but it may have been closer to 7 or 8. It was whenever it seemed like it would be beneficial for her to control a little of her own money for the reasons I laid out earlier -- less negotiation on things she wanted, and learning to save/spend/budget.
And yes, I could never sleep on satin sheets either. Way too slippery. But cotton sateen are really nice -- soft and sort of velvety.
The other "bed story" I have is from one of my cousins. She got married and came to the US, and went to stay with her DH's brother and girlfriend. They were generous and vacated their bedroom for them. Problem? Water bed. She got sea sick, and threw up all the lasagna she had for dinner.
My dh and I have one down comforter for each of us, so making the bed is kind of hard. Sometimes I will smooth out my side but leave his however. We don't use a top sheet. I used to have a made bed with top sheet and everything arranged for me. I guess I don't move too much when I sleep and it was so nice to wake up in the morning and just flip the covers back up and have a made bed. I hate it when the top sheet comes loose from the bottom when I am sleeping - I get so confused and annoyed by it. My dh hates the top sheet to be tucked in and will purposely pull it out from the bottom. We finally realized after 5 years of one or the other of us being annoyed by the arrangement of the top sheet that we just wouldn't have one. It's much better now. And I don't know how we figured out about the separate comforters, but that is so nice too because we don't pull the blankets off each other in the night.
On nights when he is home and actually sleeping with me, we do some blankets separate too. Especially in the winter when he needs one and I have like three. So I will pull way over to my side and he will sleep on top with just one cover. and I am under all the rest.
Seems like maybe a good age for allowance and them starting to understand money is also about the time that the tooth fairy starts coming? I remember saving my tooth fairy money to buy books at shopko. Sadly for me I ran out of teeth by age 10 and didn't start the babysitting until almost 13. And no allowance at that time because my dad was laid off and I know money was really tight those years.
That's the other thing. Not having grown up with the Tooth Fairy (or any other fairies), I'm not inclined towards paying money for basic biological stuff. My poor, deprived, broke child!
What I have been doing is randomly giving "surprises" when my kids go out of their way to be extraordinarily helpful or wonderful without being asked. Random rewards for behavior is actually more motivating than other types of reward strategies. Of course, I consistently try to catch them being good, and tell them I appreciate them cleaning or playing nicely with each other, or things like that, but I also keep a box with little cars and dinosaurs and animals and if they work extra hard or extra cheerfully or go out of their way to be extraordinarily helpful, I'll tell them they deserve a surprise and I get the box down and have them pick something out of it as a little present. I have also started adding in a coin or a dollar here and there, especially if we're out. A few weeks ago R. was grocery shopping with me and he did an awesome job, picking out groceries, selecting the fruit and vegetables, being friendly to people in the store but not getting in people's way, and helping me load everything for the checker and bag the groceries afterward.
I gave him a dollar for being a really good helper, especially since he's normally pretty awful in the grocery store. Come to think of it, that must have been why he wanted me to take him grocery shopping last weekend. Then he tried to give the dollar to our neighbor Crackie.
We don't have a real system in place. If he says he wants to earn a couple bucks then we try to think about what he can do. The other day he cleared off the dining room table. It was becoming a landing place for all his school stuff he brings home, projects he's in the middle of, stuff like that, and he really cleared off the whole thing and put away a bunch of stuff. So he got a dollar for that and a dollar for helping DH sweep the basement.
DH's mom will give him money for no reason which I don't raise a stink about because she's supposed to spoil him, I guess. LOL
Now I gotta go look, because I wouldn't say mine feel velvety. They definitely have a predominately satin feel to them. And while my blankets are definitely sliding every which way when I'm not looking, they haven't actually ended up on the floor. Yet. I'm sure it's coming. :)
Originally Posted by pepperlru
:shock: Oh goodness!!!!
Originally Posted by Suja
That's how Rich & I did it too. I prefer to curl up in mine. I'm a blanket hog.
Originally Posted by girlwonder
Just to throw in my two cents, I hate "the tuck". LOL. It sounds like we're on Seinfeld... "One tuck. One no-tuck." So DH, in his true contrarian fashion, luuuurves the tuck. I'll bet he was swaddled when he was a baby. So when we only half-assedly make our bed, it's lop-sided.
Reminds me, we have to get a new bed. Ours is seriously sending us both to the chiropractor. Oy! But I love having a king size, which we've had for 3 of the 8 years we've been together. We had serious territory disputes before that. I don't see how we could ever go back.
Ash, I agree that the fact that the cousins fight so much just means that they're going to be bonded like siblings when they get older. I have cousins I spent a lot of time with growing up - playing and fighting all the time. And ones that were distant and remote. I'm still so close to the ones I fought with. I cling to one of them (I call her Kissy Face) like she's my own little sister, seeing as how my own sister has gone off the reservation. How would they react if you reacted to their one-upmanship by rolling your eyes and saying "Now, don't be silly! Who cares whose toy is better?" Probably not a very PC-mom things to do, but I'd be sorely tempted.
I wish I had grown up with some cousins. Mine are 8 and 10 yrs old now. LOL I love them but they are more like the age my own kid should be. At least I had my sister and she is pretty awesome. :)
Myles, I just gotta say that I LOVE my memory foam mattress. It's a serta because well there isn't a good reason to spend for tempeurpedic. I like to get a new one every 8-9 years so would rather not spend an arm and a leg. But I also don't want cheap. I was waking up with sore back....for me it is lower back with my old one. Not anymore! God I would love a king but it just wouldn't fit in the room. We had talked about making the room bigger but that was really expensive. Especially when we have mostly been opposite shifts in almost 10 years of marriage. Often when he's home, he sleeps on the futon in his office when I start to annoy him. I like the sound machine on, he likes silence....another problem. Really if we had to share a room on a regular basis, I could see doing the two twin bed thing! Love to snuggle but I don't like being touched when I am sleeping....I barely tolerate a dog against my legs and I will shove them over if they try to lie against my back. Poor Dh is a snuggle machine when sleeping and it's hard to not hurt his feelings. I am really thankful that he works 3rd shift!
Kind of thinking of getting art for my dining room. it's open to the kitchen and living room and there is a huge white wall that has been driving me crazy. This is where it would go except this was taken almost 3 years ago so the plants are a lot bigger. https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot..._5581284_n.jpg
This is the rest of the room..except all the appliances are stainless...we had a temporary white frig waiting for ours to come in. https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot..._1808956_n.jpghttps://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...07689719_n.jpg
But I also like this one http://www.metal-wall-art.com/windsw...ll-panels.html And this one. http://www.metal-wall-art.com/granit...-wall-art.html And this one.
If I was ever in a permanent relationship again, a king bed is the only thing I'd have.
Jennifer, I cannot help you with your art choices at all. Sorry. This is one area where I feel totally useless....when people talk about art making them 'feel' something, I think they're nuts. I've never seen a painting or anything decorative that made me feel anything. Well, except "wtf is that?" when looking at some new-age or interpretive stuff. My brain must be too full of geekness. Or something.
Speaking of, work is seriously over the top unrealistically batsh!t crazy. I had to push back, hard, to extend a few deadlines. I had to be assertive to the point where I was borderline aggressive, listing out everything I have on my plate and how long I anticipate each task taking me. I continuously stressed, "without interruptions" because walk-ins, phone calls, and emergency helpdesk tickets pour in non-stop. And yes, again we were down staff due to illness and the other spent much of the morning on campus deploying a computer I'd imaged last week. So it was just me doing the helpdesk stuff.
So I get stuff pushed back enough to where I don't really have breathing room, but I know I can accomplish everything that I currently have. I stressed that I could not take one more thing. I had 1 emergency already that came in at 7:50 a.m. (I don't start till 8!) and another that really put the kink in things and finally made my director agree that a few things could wait 3-4 more days. That issue is still ongoing as it involved me pulling a drive and I left it checking the disk to see if I can even recover any data. It's an encrypted drive, so it's all quite tricky and I have little hope...but of course it hasn't been backed up in two weeks and the user has deadlines and work that he NEEDS TO HAVE. Ugh.
Anyway, at 5:40 pm, AFTER I'd been gone for the day over an hour, my director emails that there's a desktop that needs to be set up for someone. :shocker: What part of "I cannot add one more thing to my plate!" does she not understand? Setting up a desktop may be easy, but it's time consuming. I won't even get into the fact that we don't have one to set up since she's ignored my emails about only having 1 in inventory until I used it for a new hire. Reusing a 6 month old desktop is out of the question there too. Everyone gets brand new!! So I have piles and piles of desktops/laptops that are still under warranty but cannot be used. Talk about waste of $.
But that's not my point. My point is I'm being severely overworked. And tomorrow at 2:00 is my semi annual evaluation and I'm seriously going to tweak out if she even hints (again) that I 'allow myself' to become overwhelmed. I will seriously tell her to her face that if she really believes that, then she clearly has no clue what it is I do nor how long it takes for me to do it and I'll invite her to shadow me for one day.
I've had it with this place. Sticking around a full year is far too ambitious of a goal for myself. I'm back to glimpsing the job postings at Cornell each and every day. I want out of there so bad, I'd apply for a higher level administrative or executive assistant job just to get out. I'm qualified.
Boy, Chrissy, that's tough! The woman is either utterly clueless, or doesn't give a ****.
Jennifer, have you looked at stuff by Ash Carl and Megan Duncanson? I really like their metal art, and Overstock has quite a few pieces.
Suja, Mira isn't alone! Maiya does not get an allowance, and though I got one as a kid, I'm still not sure she ever will. I also don't intend to do the tooth fairy with her. I plan on letting her donate her teeth to my old search and rescue canine team! At the moment, she LOVES SAR dogs, hopefully she still will in a few years... Though I must admit, I do love L's idea of randomly rewarding good acts, I might have to consider that one...
Aw, Chrissy... You gotta get out of there!
Jennifer, I'm not really one for art. As anyone who's been to my house can tell you, I have almost entirely pictures of us up. Or at least, pictures that mean something to me- my family, my extended family, friends, pets, every house I've ever lived in (yeah, I'm weird like that...). Then I have a few pieces of art made by family for me, and my diploma, and that's really it... And my preference for anything is nature-related. So, take my advice with a grain of salt (or 20...). Of the ones you linked, I like the tree best!
And I'm so excited!! I have all plans finalized! Check this schedule out... Tomorrow, Maiya has her first day of preschool!!! April 3 is her birthday, and we will do something fun, but weather appropriate and cheap (preferably free...). 4/6 we're going to a friend's birthday party. 4/7 is her birthday party. May we're going "camping with the cows" at the dairy we get our milk from (any locals want to join?). June we're going to Hawaii. August we have the picnic / camping trip that is a spin off of her birthday party!! Phew, we are booked and I love it.